i found summer.

tuesday was warm, blindingly sunny, and i worked hard to soak up every minute. ironically the photo a day challenge was “the best part of your day”. well, i hard a hard time deciding what was best, so i thought i’d do a post on all of the best moments. it was a pretty  fantastic day.

it started off quite emotionally… but i had some good support and someone to talk to to help me process all of my thoughts & feelings. once i let myself think & feel a little, i headed off to work to begin planning for the camp best week. the other minister and i had an amazing flow. we work so well together! now, if only my job could be full-time instead of part-time. hehe.

while i was at the church, i met up with the iranian woman i was going to tutor in english. we sat, drank coffee, and talked about  world religions, peace, and feeling that the world is a place where all people are connected but we are too afraid to meet our neighbors, we are too afraid to meet people who are different than us. our conversation proved exactly what i was writing about yesterday… that we are not all that different after all. we talked about being muslim and christian, and even atheists. it was an amazing hour, to sit and share our personal stories & perspectives, and to still understand that we are the same.

then it was back to working on the plans for the camp over a working lunch. still flowing with the ideas and inspiration. loved it. and finally, a working lunch downtown. awesome morning.

in the afternoon, i decided to visit the teens/adults from my previous internship. they’re working in one of the city’s parks during the whole summer, providing activities for children & youth. it was really great to see them all, and it was so beautiful outside that i sat my little self down in the sunshine, chatted & caught up with some of these amazing teens who are spending their summer working to make summer fun for other youth, ate some ice cream, and just enjoyed being. summer!!

i walked home later on, taking the long way, down an avenue lined with gorgeous, thick green trees. i walked really slowly and paid attention to everything i saw. the air was warm, even though i was in the shade under the trees’ branches… and my soul was full.

in the evening, a friend came over. we chatted some, looked at a few pictures, and watch “across the universe” (you know i love it!) until it was really late. exhausted, i fell down on the bed and slept, quite satisfied and calm in my soul after soaking up so much vitamin d all day. when i think back over the day, i realize how many people i came in contact with… all kinds of people. and it was unbelievably amazing. i closed my eyes, feeling the love of my wife close by and feeling inspired by the opportunity to talk with so many different people about so many different things…

and, to top it all off, it was an actual, real summer day.

peace & sunshine. 

settling in.

i feel stressed today. no real reason why, i guess. true, i have quite a bit to do, but it’s not bad stuff. it’s not that tough either, just things that need to be done. and i don’t really feel much motivation. of course, i have no idea why. i guess things just are what they are sometimes.

it’s monday. the sun is shining. and i feel expected to be feeling happy, carefree, and excited. it’s summer, right? i should be feeling all those things. however, today, right now, i’m not feeling any of those things. instead there is a melancholic, lazy summer feeling swirling around me. i’m not really sad, or hurting. i just am. i feel restless and like i don’t want to do anything at the same time.

ugh, monday, why do you do this to me?

i ran across the above picture this morning and was completely drawn into it… the beach, the simplicity, the words. all of it. it gave me a sense of peace for a moment. think of it… the settling of the soul. exactly where it is supposed to be. how wonderful is that?! to feel that your soul is settled is to feel whole, completely grounded, connected, and at peace. it’s not to be without troubles or mondays that feel blah. but, it is to tap into your soul, to know with some deep sense of knowing from your heart (not your logical mind) that you are being true to yourself.

the thought of settling has always felt boring to me. something to avoid. you know, like settling down… never to move again. no adventure. just a day to day routine that never changes. people always say, “never settle for second best” and i think i translated that to “never settle” in my life. i think i’ve avoided that for a long time. settling for me in the past has always meant giving up something. choosing something because it’s more practical instead of being true to myself. i have settled in my life before… in a suffocating my soul kind of way. oh, how i settled. and once i decided to stop, i promised myself to never settle again. never again would i suffocate my dreams or let my passion die to a tiny ember.

i have never thought of the “setting of my soul”; and that it is something positive that comes from within.

settling is not a physical place that gives a sense of security, or happiness, or even boredom and monotony. it is an inner peace. settling into my soul. doesn’t that just sound so calming and true? it is knowing and being who you are, wherever you are, because it actually doesn’t matter where you are. get my drift?

writing that just reminded me of a line from one of my fave movies/the beatles: across the universe

“i am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”

it’s amazing. i love to get comments and looks on my blog. i love to check my stats and see what/who’s been active and how i may be making connections to other people. but i am reminded right now that i write on this blog first & foremost for me. it is a release, a place to think, to ponder, to be creative. and in that process, i usually make my way through whatever i am feeling. or gain a different perspective, or come to understand myself better.

and while i started this post feeling the way i did (monday blahs), i feel much more inspired now. writing my thoughts down allowed me to purge them, to think through them, and i ended up finding inspiration. my thoughts and feelings just wound themselves, like a path in the woods, to a place where i felt something from within me. connected with myself. all because of the process, the journey.

so, i’m feeling ready. ready to tackle this monday. and i’m feeling much more calm now. writing & just being with my thoughts for a few minutes has settled me into my soul. oh, and of course, i’m gonna be listening to the “across the universe” soundtrack all day now. perhaps i will even write some on my book/story later on tonight…

[spotify id=”spotify:user:elre74:playlist:1RDPUhgs0HnmpSfUefBbl0″ width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

in any case, i’ll leave you all now and wish you a monday filled with deep breaths, good music, and a chance to settle into your soul.


dear prudence.

a little music for you: Jim Sturgess – Dear Prudence

celebrate something today. anything. whatever. even the smallest thing. drink a glass of wine. hug someone you love. share a smile. write a funny note. spread some sunshine, even if it’s raining. look around you. it’s another day. and we’re alive…

so, live it up! happy thursday, friends!



morning, noon, & night.

morning: i did not want to get out from under my super cozy covers this morning. but, i managed to get up, get dressed, and get to school just on time. 8:15. at 8:40 our teacher had still not shown up and we were all sitting in the hall outside our class. weird. turns out, we weren’t going to have a teacher (she was sick), and so we got busy work that another teacher had to make up on the spot. it was a packet of about 10 pages. we only had to work until 10, and then we could leave and go home. yipee!!!

you may have noticed that i haven’t written so much about my new class. well, there’s not much to say. there will never be a class like my first one… where all my friends are. now, don’t get me wrong, i’m glad i moved up. i need the challenge and i want my swedish to continue to get better. i have had a good attitude and i am trying my best to get to know some of the people who are sitting near me, but it seems that they don’t want to be known. we work together well, when we have to; but they all know each other and some little american girl doesn’t seem to be fitting into their plans/groups. therefore, i’m not unhappy, i’m just a little bored. there’s not much laughing  or family atmosphere to this class. it’s a bunch of individuals or groups all speaking in their home language. so, i’m going to class. doing my work. learning as much as i can. trying to make people laugh a little. and then moving on.

noon: the wonderful thing is that those who i met in my first class have moved from being my classmates to being my friends! and we still find ways to get together. today, we left school together (and lina came too!!) and went to a’s house for falafel, fries, fruit, cake, chips, nuts, coffee, coke… oh my gosh, i was so full!! we had a great time, chatting, laughing, singing for each other, and showing each other typical dances from our countries. there were 7 of us there and we represented 6 different countries!!!! viet nam, poland, iraq, tunesia, sweden, and the US! the more we get to know each other, the more that we realize how alike we all really are. we know the same childhood games, played the same imaginary roles as kids, have learned some of the same songs… oh. i can never say enough! i feel so blessed!! i love these girls!

lina and i came home for a few hours to rest before she headed off for her first night shift (6-2:30/3AM). it was relaxing and nice just to be together – our schedules are all over the place now. after she left, i did a little grocery shopping and then came home to settle down for the evening. i was watching the news and realized that the room was turning orange, so i got up and went to the window. i looked to the left and this is what i saw… amazing!

i was so amazed and inspired that i grabbed my camera, pulled on some shoes, threw on a jacket, and ran down the stairs. i was running for the river (which is one tiny little block away). someone else was standing on the corner taking a picture too. great minds… hehe. i was running, taking pictures, stopping, taking it all in. it was b-e-a-u-tiful!!! the wind was blowing so hard i thought my hair might blow off, but i didn’t care. i was so full of life! the colors, the wind, everything was so inspiring and amazing! oh my gosh, in that moment, i was so thankful that i live where i live. downtown. near the river. it was amazing! and in 5 minutes, i was back upstairs in my apartment…

night: i didn’t think that things could get any better, but i looked at the tv schedule and saw that “across the universe” was on tonight. i must say that this movie has taken its spot at the top of my favorite movies list. so, just now, i’ve got some candles lit, beatles music (from the movie) playing in my ears, our cat sitting near me, and my computer in front of me as i await my love coming home later. then, our weekend will begin!

though, i must say. my friday has gotten things off to a good start! hope you all have a great weekend! peace.